Actions, demos, protests...

Indonesia Roundup #17 - May 29-June 4, 2006

, by INDOLEFT News Service, PRD

Dear Indoleft subscribers,

Due to time constraints and technical problems, no
issues of Indonesia Roundup have been posted since
late April (Number 11). With this issue we plan to
restart the service on a weekly basis again. Numbers
12-16 will be posted and added to the ASIET web site
as translations are completed.

James Balowski.

Activists launch pre-trial suit against New Order

Unwilling to accept that former President Suharto
will escape justice, on May 29 activists from the
1998 reform movement launched a pre-trial suit
against the New Order regime at the South Jakarta
District Court. The 18 activists who were registered
as plaintiffs were accompanied by a lawyer from the
Indonesian Legal Advice and Human Rights Association

"We are asking for a cancellation of the order to
stop the investigation into Suharto and for the
legal process against Suharto be resumed. The
mechanism is up to the state. The state could hold a
trial in absentia", said the spokesperson for the
Nameless Committee for the League of 1998 Activists
(KTNPA-1998), Raymond R Simanjorang.

The activists also held a protest and gave speeches
in front of the court. "We are still demanding that
Suharto be tried. It cannot be that on health
grounds Suharto can just be released", said one of
the speakers. (, 29/5/2006)

New Order victims rock Komnas HAM

Around 100 families who were victims of human rights
violations by the New Order regime of former
President Suharto held a rally from the Proclamation
Monument in Jakarta to the National Human Rights
Commission (Komnas HAM) on May 30.

The protesters wore black robes and covered their
faces with newspapers with the writing “Try Suharto”
and “Sorry No, A Trial Yes”. They also brought
wooden gongs, which they played during the march as
well as an iron cage with an effigy of Suharto
inside it with a banner around its neck reading
“Suharto Human Rights Criminal”.

According to the public relations officer for the
Victims of New Order Human Rights Violations,
Mujianto, the action was held to demand that Komnas
HAM fully investigate human rights violations,
particularly the cases of the disappearance of
activists in 1997-98. (, 30/5/2006)

Students demand governor be investigated over

Around 100 students and youths from East Kalimantan
demonstrated at the Corruption Eradication
Commission (KPK) in Central Jakarta on May 30. They
were demanding that the KPK investigate East
Kalimantan governor Suwarna AS over an alleged
corruption case involving 1 million hectares of palm
oil land.

Arriving at the KPK offices at around 12.30pm, they
immediately started the action singing "Revolution,
Revolution or Death“accompanied by shouts of”Viva
Students!". Black banners were also unfurled above a
vehicle with a sound system with the writing "Uphold
the supremacy of the law, arrests and try the most
corrupt governor in Indonesia Suwarna AS the
governor of East Kalimantan".

In speeches the protesters urged the KPK to
immediately investigate the corruption case and that
the office of the prosecution and the police be
transparent and not attempt to cover up the issue.
The protest was watched over by around 25 police
officers. After being received by a representative
of the KPK, the protesters disbanded in an orderly
manner. (, 30/5/2006)

Fisherpeople protest pollution, demand compensation

Around 300 fisherpeople from the Jakarta Fishers
Communication Forum (FKNJ) protested at the North
Jakarta mayor’s office on May 30. They were calling
on the municipal government revoke the business
licenses of factories that are discharging waste in
the Cilincing, Marunda and Muara Tawar rivers. The
protesters demanded that the government pay
compensation for the financial losses they have

According to the demonstrators, over the last two
years pollution on the coastal beaches of North
Jakarta has been worsening and has resulted in a
decline in the production levels of their green
mussel farms.

"My green mussel pond has produced nothing since
January", said Fatimah, one of the protesters.
Fatimah said the factories border on their mussel
ponds which support some 6,500 families. Before the
rivers became polluted, production had reached 10
tons per season. They said that as a result of the
recently failed season, they suffered losses of as
much as 93 billion rupiah. (Tempo Interactive,

Nahdlatul Ulama demands FPI be disbanded

Members of the Islamic mass organisation Nahdlatul
Ulama from the Cirebon area of West Java
demonstrated on May 30 demanding that the Islamic
Defenders Front (FPI), the Indonesia Mujahidin
Council (MMI) and Hizhut Tahrir be disbanded. The
demonstration was in response to last week’s
eviction of former President Abdurrahman Wahid alias
Gus Dur during an event in the West Java town of
Purwakarta. Tightly guarded by police, they
condemned the actions against Gus Dur saying it did
not reflect Islamic values. (Liputan 6, 30/5/2006)

Papuan activists protest anti-pornography law

Dozens of activists from the Papuan Traditional Arts
Council (DKAP) protested recently against the draft
law on pornography at the Papuan Regional House
(DPRD) of Representatives in Jayapura. The
protesters included student, religious figures and
traditional leaders who believe that the law will
kill off Papua’s traditional attire, the penis

The protesters arrived at the DPRD in three busses.
Uniquely, a number of the demonstrators wore penis
gourds. They said that if the draft law is ratified
it will result in the disappearance of the Papuan
people’s identity. Traditional residents of Wamena
for example, can often be seen wearing penis gourds.
(Liputan 6, 31/5/2006)

Hundreds of residents reject inauguration of regent

Around 300 residents from a number of villages in
the Tebo regency of Jambi, East Nusa Tenggara,
protested on May 31 against the inauguration of the
newly reelected regent of Tebo, Madjid Muaz.
According to the protesters, during his term as
regent between 2001-2006 Muaz was involved in
corruption, collusion and nepotism, specifically by
appointing two of his daughters as government
officials without having sat the state civil service
entrance exam.

The protests marched as far as one kilometre to the
regent’s official residence however tight police
security prevented them from entering. The action
was supported by a number of members from the Tebo
DPRD some of whom even joined in giving speeches.
There has been a long-running dispute between the
regent and the DPRD with assembly members even
recommending that Muaz be dismissed. (Liputan 6,

Residents reject waste management plant

Residents from the Serang city in the Banten regency
protested recently at the offices of the Banten
regent. The protesters were demanding that the
license to construct a waste management plant by the
Cilegon city government be revoked. The residents
said they were concerned that the quality of water
in their area that is used for daily needs and
irrigation will become polluted. (Liputan 6,

Makassar housewives protest against discrimination

Around 100 housewives protested in the South
Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar on May 31
over the quality of healthcare services provided by

The housewives, who were from the People’s Urban
Poor Struggle Committee (KPRM), arrived at the South
Sulawesi Health Agency at around 9.30am. Protesters
said that hospitals discriminate against the poor
citing the uneven distribution of cards guaranteeing
health services for the poor (JPKMM).

In addition to this they also raised questions about
the attitudes of hospital that are reluctant to
provide free health services to the poor. "If a
person is rich they get a good service. If it’s a
poor person, they sometimes even get rejected for
all sorts of reasons", explained one of the

The housewives were received by officials from the
Makassar Health Offices who attempted to provide and
explanation to counter their complains. By 11.30am
the debate between the protesters and the officials
became heated with some of the housewives even
jumping up onto desks and abusing the officials. The
situation only calmed down after officials promised
to register those people who had not obtained JPKMM
cards. Protesters returned home at around 1.30pm.
(, 31/5/2006)

Makassar residents protest over cash subsidies

Hundreds of resident from the Kumuh area of Makassar
demonstrated at the DPRD on June 1. They were
protesting because they have not been registered to
receive direct cash subsides. The protesters said
that the suspect that certain individuals in the
village administration and the National Statistics
Agency (BPS) are manipulating data so that those who
are receiving subsidies are families that are not
actually poor. (Liputan 6, 1/6/2006)

Gus Dur supporters demand FPI be disbanded

Gus Dur supporters in Purwokerto protested again on
May 1 demanding that the FPI be disbanded. They
believe that the FPI is using Islam as a cover to
commit acts of anarchy. The demonstrators also
demanded that police immediately investigate actions
engineered by the FPI because they are creating
anxiety among the public. (Liputan 6, 1/6/2006)

Students protest against sand dredging in Banten

Students demonstrated again on June 1 against the
dredging of sand from the waters of the North Banten
Gulf because they are convinced that it is damaging
the marine ecosystem. The protesters were demanding
that the regent of Serang, Taufik Nuriman, revoke
the sand dredging license. As in earlier
demonstrations, the protesters again closed off
roads as well as hijacking two vehicles owned by the
local government. (Liputan 6, 1/6/2006)

Residents demand arrest of mayor over corruption

On June 1, residents and anti-corruption activists
in South Sumatra demonstrated demanding that the
mayor of the Prabumulih regency, Rahman Djalili, be
detained and suspended from duties. Djalili is a
suspect in a corruption case involving the purchase
of land for an office and hospital valued at 3.3
billion rupiah. The head of Prabumulih prosecutors’
office, Ferdinan Pangabean, has also been accused of
receiving bribes during the investigation of the
case. Djalili remains free even though the South
Sumatra chief prosecutor has issued an arrest
warrant for his detention. (Liputan 6, 1/6/2006)

Palu residents blockade road

More than 100 residents from the Duyu village in the
West Palu sub-district of Central Sulawesi blockaded
the entrance to the Bukit Nirwana housing estate
using lengths of wood and stones. The June 1 action
was protesting the failure of the housing estate
developers to pay the residents compensation for
their land. (Liputan 6, 1/6/2006)

Division of Tana Toraja regency rejected by students

Students from the Tana Toraja regency in Central
Sulawesi held an angry protest at the South Sulawesi
DPRD in Makassar on June 1. The protesters’ anger
was trigged by an agreement by assembly members to
split up the Tana Toraja regency. According to the
demonstrators, the move is nothing more than an
endeavour to divide up power among the political
elite and will only create disunity within
traditional Tana Toraja society and create conflicts
between the people. (Liputan 6, 2/6/2006)

Poor people protests over cash subsidies in Cirebon

Hundreds of poor people went to the to the Cirebon
regency BPS in West Java on June 2 to protest
because they still had not received cards for direct
cash subsidies. Even those who have received cash
subsidies said that the money was incomplete saying
that deductions had been made from the 300,000
rupiah per three months on the grounds that other
poor people had not received assistance. (Liputan 6,

Unity in Diversity Alliance holds march

Around 200 demonstrators from the Unity in Diversity
Alliance (ABTI) held a cultural rally through the
major thoroughfares of Jl. Sudiarman and MH Thamrin
in Jakarta on May 3. The rally presented a variety
of arts from across Indonesia including traditional
dances from Bali, Reog Ponorogo, Achenese dance and
Debus Banten.

The rally, which continued for around three hours
using 25 trucks and a convoy of motorbikes, started
at the South Jakarta area of Semanggi then proceeded
to the Hotel Indonesia roundabout and on to the
National Monument.

The cultural rally took up the theme "Pancasila is
Our Home" saying that maintaining diversity is the
only way to maintain the identity of the Indonesian
nation. ABTI spokesperson Ratna Sarumpaet said that
the Indonesian nation must continue to promote
attitudes that respect diversity and tolerance.
Indonesia is a composite nation and therefore cannot
be monopolised by particular political or religious
groups she said. (Tempo Interactive, 3/6/2006)

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